You Want WHAT? Bless Your Little Heart.

Kvh_Elbow_300Turnkey has had a stellar first few months of the year. To keep the momentum going, I told my sales staff, “If you meet this particular sales goal, I will rent a beach house for everyone in the company and we’ll have a huge party.” They were thrilled!

They worked hard. They met the goal. Then, they said, “we’d rather have cash.”

WHAT? Our company is built on the premise that cash and cash-like gifts don’t motivate fundraisers as much as gifts symbolic of recognition. How could MY employees go counter to that? It was CRAZY.

Then I stopped and remembered, every time we’ve EVER asked fundraisers what they would prefer, they say “cash.” It is only from their behavior that we know that cash is NOT king. And, I didn’t offer my sales people cash; I offered recognition. And they responded with success.

I wondered would they have worked as hard for cash? In our sales meetings we talked about what the house would be like – party central. We talked about what we’d eat and drink, the movies we’d watch together. They were motivated. Would cash have caused that sort of chatter? Likely not.

In the end, I gave them cash AND we had a party on my dock, next to a lake. They were happy. Next time, I won’t change a thing. The reward we put out there will be inspirational and NOT like pay. And then they’ll ask for cash. (Bless their hearts and God luv ‘em.)

2 thoughts on “You Want WHAT? Bless Your Little Heart.

  1. Bruce Yoder

    Reminds me of Teresa Amabile’s study of creativity when I was in grad school years ago. When physical rewards were offered to kids for artwork, the quality of the art suffered. It took the focus off the intrinsic value of the activity. I think cash has far more power to shift focus than time together at the beach. Your sales staff did what they do best and did it well because there was an intangible reward. Cash might generate a greater flurry of activity, but I’ll bet that’s not what you are after.


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